Fujian Province – Credit Wikipedia
One of the more encouraging aspects of 2013’s H7N9 epidemic in China was the unprecedented openness on the part of the Chinese government in announcing cases, releasing studies, and keeping the outside world well informed on this newly emerged avian threat.
It was a dramatic, and praiseworthy change from the tactics employed during the 2003 SARS outbreak, and it was followed in much the same fashion the following winter for the second wave.
But this year, not so much.
We’ve seen a smattering of very brief case reports issued from a few provinces, but rarely with the kind of detail we became used to during the first two waves. Onset dates, routes of likely exposure, and follow up reports have been few and far between.
And quite frankly, there’s been a growing feeling among the newshounds following these reports that we’re not seeing all of the cases reported in a timely fashion.
Supporting this concern, this morning there was a report in the Chinese press that last month – December of 2014 – Fujian Province recorded 6 H7N9 cases. The only one previously announced was on December 3rd (see Fujian Province: 1 H7N9 Case Reported), meaning that we have no details at all on at least 5 cases.
This report from Chinanews.com
At 14:21 on January 8, 2015 Source: China News Network
Reporters learned from the Fujian Provincial Health Planning Commission last month, the province reported a total of six cases of human infection with the H7N9 bird flu cases and no deaths reported. Health experts said the Planning Commission of Fujian Province, people infected with H7N9 is an acute respiratory infection caused by the H7N9 virus. At present, evidence suggests that exposure to live poultry markets are risk factors for the incidence of human infection with H7N9, carrying the virus in poultry and their droppings, secretions of human infection with H7N9 virus may be the source of infection.
Admittedly, not much of a report. But Sharon Sanders on FluTrackers has found another confirmation, via a monthly summary of communicable diseases published by the Fujian Provincial Health Department.
Published: 2015-01-07 |
December 2014 (at 0:00 on December 1, 2014 to December 31 24), the province reported a total of A and B infectious diseases 11,363 cases and 19 deaths. This month except plague, cholera, SARS, polio, highly pathogenic avian influenza, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, anthrax, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, whooping cough, diphtheria, neonatal tetanus, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis no case reports, the rest are being reported. The top five reported incidence of A and B infectious diseases: viral hepatitis, syphilis, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, HIV, accounting for 98.29% of the total incidence; infectious disease deaths reported as: AIDS, tuberculosis. December, the province reported a total of six cases of human infection with the H7N9 cases, no deaths.
December 2014, the province reported a total of 11,036 cases of class C infectious diseases, no deaths. Reported incidence of the top five diseases were: other infectious diarrheal diseases other than cholera, bacillary and amoebic dysentery, typhoid and paratyphoid, foot and mouth disease, influenza, mumps, acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, accounting for 99.88% of the total number of class C infectious diseases.
While there is no mention on the front page of the Fujian Provincial Health & Family Planning’s website of these cases, yesterday they did feature prominently the following advisory on avoiding H7N9.
Published: 2015-01-07 | Source: Ministry of Health and Family Planning | Hits:210|
People infected with H7N9 is an acute respiratory infection caused by the H7N9 virus. At present, evidence suggests that exposure to live poultry markets are risk factors for the incidence of human infection with H7N9, carrying the virus in poultry and their droppings, secretions of human infection with H7N9 virus may be the source of infection. Everyday life, experts say, away from people infected with H7N9, take the following precautions are critical:
(1) daily life should avoid direct contact with live poultry, birds or their droppings, especially disease (dead) birds; if it has contact Wash hands with soap and water as soon as possible. Children should avoid direct contact with poultry and wild birds. If you find disease (dead) birds, animals, do not deal with on their own, should report the authorities.
(2) Do not buy live poultry slaughtered on their own, do not touch, do not eat sick (dead) poultry, meat, do not buy without quarantine certificates fresh, live, frozen poultry and their products.
(3) raw poultry, meat and eggs must be cooked fully cooked.
(4) attention to food hygiene, food processing, food process, there must be raw and cooked separately to avoid cross contamination, handling raw poultry, meat chopping board, knives and containers can not be used for cooked food; in processing raw poultry After the meat and eggs thoroughly wash their hands.
(5) a healthy lifestyle is very important for the prevention of this disease. Usually should strengthen physical exercise, plenty of rest, avoid over exertion; no smoking, wash hands, pay attention to personal hygiene, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
(6) children, the elderly, the infirm and those with chronic diseases should be minimal to crowded public places.
To wear a mask (7) when the doctor or go to the hospital to visit patients.
(8) If fever and respiratory symptoms should wear a mask, as soon as possible to medical institutions, and remember to tell your doctor before the onset of whether the travel or contact history with poultry. Should be under the guidance of a doctor for regular treatment and medication. (Committee Propaganda Department)
While we are always cognizant that surveillance and reporting can only pick up a portion of the actual number of cases, over the past couple of years we’ve come to rely heavily upon the excellent reporting by China’s provinces in providing us a pretty good real-time barometer of their H7N9 epidemic status.
It would be a great loss if this year should prove any different.